Some believe that, when formulating and compiling a disability retirement application, that quantity of supporting documentation will win the day — all medical reports, records, statements from friends, family, co-workers, etc. Sometimes, however, it is better to refrain from providing everything all at once; for, if a determination is made that there is sufficient documentation to prevail in a disability retirement application, it is sometimes the wiser course to restrain the natural inclination to bombard the Office of Personnel Management with all of the available documentation. This is merely a strategic bit of advice; yet, in practical terms, inasmuch as every disability retirement case has the potential to be denied at the First Stage, and OPM would in that event be requesting additional supporting documentation, it is often a good idea to “withhold” and “keep back” a secondary source of supporting documentation — but only if the primary source of supporting documentation is confidently adequate to win at the first stage. It is a discretionary method of approaching the compiling of data and documentation at the first stage — a decision which should be made with wise counsel.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire